Seth is Lecturer in Digital Humanities at the DHI where he conducts research in subject areas from international development to corpus semantics, and acts as academic lead for the MA in Digital Culture and Communication, and the MA in Cultural Data Management and Communication. He has been at the University of Sheffield since 2015, working closely with the Digital Humanities Institute throughout that time. From 2011 to 2015, he was a research fellow and teaching fellow based at University College London’s Survey of English Usage. He completed a PhD in English at University College London (UCL), following an MA in English Linguistics at UCL.
He is a member of The Keywords Project, the Oxford English Dictionary Research Advisory Forum, and the White Rose Gender Equality College. He was a council member of Britain’s oldest learned society, The Philological Society, from 2016 to 2020, and the society’s first Honourary Secretary for Student Associate Members from 2012 to 2015.
Seth’s recent corpus semantic research focuses on words with multiple contested meanings, which lead to cross purposes and confusion in public debate and personal conversation: for example, decolonisation, gentrification, appropriation, fundamentalism, and white. These multiple meanings often include newly emerging senses, and exhibit increasing vagueness. He also leads the DHI’s concept modelling work, based on the Linguistic DNA project and subsequent collaborations with the BBC and the Oxford English Dictionary.
Seth’s development research relies on co-production methods with community researchers in rural South Africa. That work has supported the creation of community archives in the form of ‘live’ records of unfolding events, and records of the living memories of older adults, as a means for building capacity and exploring concepts of development and identity.
Recent and ongoing externally funded research projects include:
- Many Happy Returns – Enabling Reusable Packaging Systems. Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund: Smart Sustainable Plastic Packaging Challenge. (As Co-Investigator).
- Land rights in rural South Africa: Creating a record of practice in an ongoing crisis. AHRC Urgency Grant. (As Principal Investigator).
- Mapping community heritage with young people in rural South Africa. AHRC GCRF Network Plus Funding. (As Principal Investigator).
Seth supports the DHI in developing research projects, programmes, and proposals, across a wide range of subjects.
For the MA in Digital Culture and Communication and the MA in Cultural Data Management and Communication, Seth delivers the modules Introduction to Digital Culture and Language Analysis, AI and Culturomics. He is an associate fellow of the Higher Education Academy, and was awarded a Learning and Teaching Fellowship (2016-2017) at The University of Sheffield to develop and convene training sessions for postgraduates and academics on corpus linguistics and text analytics.
Seth has convened and delivered undergraduate and postgraduate modules at the University of Sheffield, UCL, and the University of Winchester, in corpus linguistics, discourse analysis, the history of English, English grammar, and research methods. He developed and convened an English grammar Continuing Professional Development course for school teachers at the UCL Institute of Education. At UCL, he was awarded funding to develop and convene annual widening participation summer schools for secondary school students from backgrounds under-represented in higher education (2012-2013). He began his teaching career teaching English as a Foreign Language in the USA, Cyprus, and the PRC.